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tv   Washington Journal  CSPAN  August 20, 2012 7:00am-10:00am EDT

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her work on stories and perspectives that affected the african-american community. "washington journal" is next. host: good morning and welcome on this monday, august 20 president. obama is at the white house. the and the first lady will dine at a local restaurant this evening's with winners of the campaign contest. republican candidate mitt romney will hold a town hall with his running mate paul ryan in new hampshire. one week from the republican national committee convention in tampa, florida. the republicans discussed their platform in the first of today's a committee meetings. c-span will air them live starting at 2:15 eastern this afternoon. as we get the final days before the republican and democratic conventions, we would like to
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hear from you. do political conventions matter? here are the numbers to call -- you can also find us online. send us your tweets. you can join the conversation on facebook. or email us. we would like to hear from you this morning. if you think political conventions matter. preparations are all over the news this morning.
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--ghteseters r let's take a look at the christian science monitor --
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it's a report on the history of conventions, how they have tried to turn the conversation in their direction. let's hear from a democrat in brooklyn. caller: they don't matter at all anymore. it is disgusting and is an insult to the american people. these things are set up as a pr party. it's bizarre. it does not represent us anymore. you can hear a cackle of people on their cell phones. i remember when a newspaper reporter lived down the street. now all that is removed. we have no hold the left. host: do you plan to vote this year? caller: i am a democrat all my
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life. in new york it's a blue state. i have lost faith. i think it's a coin to come down to how many people the parties can turnout and a few independents. -- it is going to come down to how many people the parties can turn out. host: the christian science monitor says --
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what do you think? do agree with our first caller was said the conventions don't matter to him and he thinks that they are overly staged? or do you have a different opinion? the christian science monitor looks at a history of conventions and goes through how they've all, how we got to this point, and where we get the legacy of the convention. here's from the washington post yesterday -- he says they should of gone with
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ronald reagan instead of pat buchanan. here's the "washington times" -- irene in trenton, michigan, democratic caller. caller: i think they ought to be done away with as well as all of these months and months and months of politics that we have been going. going we needed them back with this country was being settled, but we don't need them now.
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there's a polling place on every corner, in every school. those were set up so -- they would drive for weeks to get to a polling place. we no longer have that necessity. the electoral college idea ought to be eliminated because they don't represent the people. both of those things are obsolete. there's the world wide web and the country has become small because of technology. host: how would you change it? how would you move things forward? caller: i would put them on a six-month advertising limit. they can kill the media with their advertising and do whatever they want prior to an election. but having two years of political warfare expand lies and finger-pointing and denied discussing the issues and the stability that i have seen from
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both parties is absolutely childish. i think there's no place for it in politics. talking about running a country, not a little village. i grew up in a little village. that was easy to handle. a country is a different matter. when we talk about taking things away from senr citizens and children and the sick and the poor and the elderly, i have a problem with that. i don't need a big convention to tell me how many ways they are going to starve me to death. host: c-span will be at both conventions. the republican convention next week and the democratic national convention the following week. here's the campaign calendar for the rnc starting next monday -- you can see more about our plans at there's a list of all sorts of convention information covered
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in our web site. here is the christian science monitor -- massachusetts caller, richard on the independent line. caller: i agree with the woman from michigan. the bill years cutting each other up. they are a bunch of children. i cannot understand. if i have a problem at work, we sit down and talk about it like a grown man. this is a country we have to run. i don't care about democrat, republican, independent. you have to come together and forget this nonsense of cutting each other up. it is a shame.
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i have never seen the likes of it. it's getting really nasty. i turn off the advertisements. thanks for listening. have a nice day. host: the washington post yesterday --
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was virginia, spence on the democratic line. caller: the lady from michigan was right. it is sad what we have let the politicians and the things like that. i am 55. i remember in conventions when you discussed real issues. people had disagreements on the floor. they will not let you see any disagreements. it's more like a production rather than a convention anymore. it is sad that politics has come to that, because it is always a lot nicer to watch people debate issues. we will not see any debates of any issues, i don't think, in either the democrats or the republican convention. it's more a production. host: do you have moments that you reflect on from past conventions that really interested you? for example, senator obama's speech before he became president? and powerful speeches by people
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like? ronald like any of that ever affect you? caller: i am sorry that i cannot remember the name. there was a black lady that spoke several years ago. it was at the democratic convention. a lot of times when you have a third-party candidate like when we had ross perot, those conventions had to stand for something. you saw some disagreements on the floor, but you also got applause. sometimes when you have an independent person that may not win. this year we have had a perfect ear for a third-party candidate to run. i'm a democrat and i cannot believe how the republicans have treated a lot of people running for office. sakes,l, for heaven's the stance against war. can we ever talk about let's not stick our nose into everything and cause war?
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every time we want to make cuts it is on the working people or the older people. let's cut the salaries of the people in washington a little. let's talk about some real pain. i compliment you on how far you have come on this program. started watching you in the beginning and you have come a long way. thanks for taking calls. god bless and have a wonderful day. host: banks. talking about whether you think political conventions matter. to talk with us about what we will see unveiled at the rnc later today is the press secretary of the for the gop convention joining us from tampa. good morning. guest: good morning, libby. at 11:00 this morning the rnc chairman reince priebus will be at the tampa bay time forum to pull back the curtain and unveil the podium or the stage.
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host: why is this significant? guest: because it is the focal point of the convention. it is where we will tell the story, mitt romney and paul ryan, and contrast that with the last three and a half years of president obama. host: how much work goes into creating the podium, making decisions about it? guest: a lot of work. goes work its the design of this particular podium started about a year-and- a-half ago. roughly 30,000 man hours went into the production of its. -- it has ao really while factor -- wow factor. it's unlike anything gets ever been done at a convention before. i think people will be blown away by what they see. host: 0 be thou now from the republican convention now. what is the activity level like?
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-- we are about one week out. guest: there is bus all around town. finishing touches are under way inside the forum and inside the convention center. but all of downtown, people have been sprucing up their hotels. and the downtown area. it has been overwhelming to see the welcoming atmosphere enthusiasm from the local community. the mayor, a democrat, has called this the economic convention because of the money that is being injected into the tampa bay area. host: guy l. downey, press secretary for the gop convention, thanks for joining us. owney.e das there is an independent caller
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in massachusetts. we are talking about whether you think political conventions matter. caller: hi, how are you? i love c-span. it's one of the most important elections of our time. i am 73 years old and i don't believe i have ever seen an election that is more important than this one coming up. i do believe the conventions are important, because it's going to give us all the enthusiasm to go the next 80 days almost to the elections. it's going to tell us a lot about what we are going to look for. i don't really agree with some of these people that have been on before me. i do believe that we are going to see a change in our country. i think it's going to be very exciting. host: here's a comment on twitter --
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eric is a democratic caller in baltimore. caller: yes, i don't agree with the conventions. i do agree they need to convene. where is everybody getting all this money for these big parties? hundreds of millions of dollars they spend on advertising and parties we could be putting into the depths it. as far as the president, i am tired of hearing everybody saying washington is dead and washington is asleep and washington cannot get along. the man has been attacked for four years. they say he is too passive. the minute he defends himself, all this gardof a sudden both ps cannot get along. host: maverick says -- austin, texas, bill,
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independence. caller: good morning. host: do they matter?, they don't i agree with the one guy that said conventions do matter. some americans are starting to wake up and see what politicians are really doing instead of what they say. without millions of dollars being put into these conventions and advertisements on the tv, from the taxpayers, that money should go back into the neighborhoods. people are still getting shot and there are still drug dealers. education and stuff like that, it does not make sense. they are focusing on the wrong things. all the money they're putting into all these conventions, they
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should put it back towards the people supporting them. host: what would you like to spend it on, bill? caller: i just want to see the money go towards a good cause. my word does not stand a chance against these politicians. they will do whatever they want to do with that money. they can say they are going to give it to something good, but their actions speak louder than words. host: this is the l.a. times -- the major tv networks --
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c-span will be at the conventions. you can find confirmation on our website.
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and our facebook page has information. let's look at a couple comments -- you can join that conversation by looking for c-span on facebook. ken is a republican in chicago joining us now. caller: i think conventions matter when there is a candidate in a given party. this time both parties have a candidate as opposed to last time. what point to happen at this convention, barack obama will be dogged because he took $125,000 zko. tony restre host: another democratic caller in chicago on the line. caller: i enjoy looking at them, but i hear a lot of people say they look at c-span all the
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time, but they should look at c- span when they have the democrats and the republicans passing laws or trying to pass laws and then they will find out who is really working for the middle class. you find a lot of them voting against the middle class and a lot of them for the middle class. a lot of people say democrats and republicans are the same. they are not the same. all you have to do is pay attention. i cannot believe that americans fall for the same lies every four years from the republicans. they tell you the same things and you fall for it every time. republicans do not care about the middle class. thank you. host: ho--
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roseland, virginia. caller: the convention this year matters a great deal. although they say it is scripted. while ron paul says he's not a candidate, he does not decide the the delegates who have been chosen from virginia and all the other states. there's more than five states that have chosen states where ron paul is favored. they will decide. in maine and ottawa, for example, -- and iowa, where they control. 28 control so this is going to be extremely exciting. -- in maine and iowa they control 28 each.
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much more widee open and it's going to be very exciting to watch. i encourage everyone to the tune in next week. host: the washington post would agree with you, kenneth that there can be surprises at the convention.
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potomac, maryland, democratic line, adrian. good morning. caller: how are you? host: what do you have to say for us? we have to move on. gainesville, florida. stephen is an independent scholar. caller: good morning. i agree somewhat with the washington post. i remember when reagan almost overtook the convention delegates. i am a political science major. during the convention, some
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things can happen. however and a good part of me says it does not matter. i believe what the post leaves out is we run in a four air-year election cycle now. this is not where we tried to start finding candidates a year- and-a-half ago. as soon as it's over with, we will be talking about where we will be for 2016. one last thing, your last caller, the kind who was down there, the reporter, he spoke about the podium. it is supposed to be a big deal. it took 30,000 man hours. skilled labor only getting paid $15 to $1 an hour. a podium costing almost $600,000 to make. i don't know if anybody has brought this up, but the convention is in tampa and i am two and a half hours away in florida.
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there is a ridiculous homeless problem in orlando. how can we justify force decided to spend $600,000 on a podium for a tv show -- how can they justify to society? actually a press representative and not a reporter. if you would like to join the conversation, call us. monty agrees with our last caller -- waterbury, connecticut, james, a democrat. caller: they do matter. to those that are less informed. get involved with the hoopla of
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it and the glamour. spending all this money to attract people, almost like an infomercial. so they get caught up. i think they tend not to hear the most important part of the convention, the concerns of the country, the issues. they get watered down and diluted. people get caught in the hoopla of the convention, the excitement of it and that type of thing. what happens is the less informed -- they get caught in the hoopla. those that are well informed, their decisions are not swayed. so they spend all this money to excite the crowd and to get those that are less involved more involved. it is a political ploy.
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host: the christian science monitor says --
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the christian science monitor also gives advice to those watching the convention. it says -- let's go to california city, california. but republican caller, good morning. caller: i have been trying for months to call.
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that previous caller that said the republicans were liars, i beg to differ. who spent almost $5 trillion in the past almost four years? they are all democrats. obama had the office completely by himself for two years to begin with. there were all democrats that voted everything they have gotten. host: will you be tune in to the conventions next week, g gene? caller: i am bedridden, i'm sorry. i am dying of cancer. i'm 82 years old. i hate to see people lying on your program. i'm a born-again christian.
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i was born a christian. i am a christian. show me how many democrats are christians? 74 communists are in the democratic house of representatives and obama is a muslim. host: actually, president obama is a professed christians as is vice-president joe biden. interesting story in the washington post and other outlets looking at mitt romney's religion. you can read about that in the "new york times and seeing an extensive profile about mitt romney's religion and what it has meant to him over the years in the washington post today. are talking about how the conventions affect you, whether
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or not you are interested in what the candidates say at the conventions. larry is a republican in st. petersburg, florida. caller: hi, great to be able to promote the city of st. petersburg along with the tampa bay area for the convention coming to town. host: what is it like in your community right now? caller: there's a high level of excitement with all the things as we start to get the itinerary's for all the events that are going to be happening. so people are pretty jazzed about it. there's going to be some inconvenience here and there, because these things tend to cause traffic. weeping, especially as a republican, it's pretty exciting to see the policy that has developed the issues more strongly and to really excites the base. the president has the advantage. i don't know if they need to
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have a convention, necessarily. we know what policies -- he has been campaigning on the people's dime. $4 trillion, that's a lot of money compared what is spent on a podium. host: you are particularly excited about the convention coming nearby to. the but will you be at any events? caller: absolutely. there's one at the tropicana. we have the tampa bay raise and we are excited about the chance to do some things locally. to go over to a sample one day and take it all in. that's the flavor of the convention. host: let's hear from a caller in tampa. john is an independent calling us from the side of the gop convention. we will be following that next week. c-span will have gavel-to-gavel coverage of the republicans'
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august 27 through august 30. and democrats in september. caller: we are glad to most of the rnc. it's a lot of money for tampa and st. petersburg. as far as believing in conventions, obviously, obama puts a lot of money into it. by the way, i am an independent. as obama, he has had several years to show us what he had. as the previous gentleman said, he has been trying to get out there the last four years to get this issue across. i think he's had a hard time. the only change i see is something i don't want.
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the democratic convention in virginia, he has a chance to do that. host: it's actually going to be in charlotte, north carolina. caller: excuse me. the bottom line is he does get one more shot at i i already know where my vote is going, for romney. they are the first ones to get a budget in four years. nobody wants obama's budget. even the democrats turned it down. i am very excited about the rnc. host: let's look at a tweet -- that is something we heard from the last two caller's from florida. here's a story in the washington times --
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indiana, bob is a republican. caller: good morning. i remember watching truman in 1948. he was the last democrat unsupported. the last democrat that i supported.
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the speeches to matter. president obama made his great speed and that turned out to be phony. host: we're looking at a picture of truman from the christian science monitor. what do you remember about that? caller: the guy stood his ground. he was a fighter. he was an ordinary man. we have not had an ordinary man. obama is no ordinary man. he was a community agitator in chicago. he was tied up with a lot of corrupt people. he has a lot of radicals supporting him. another question i have, did i hear you right when somebody said that you are partnering with "politico" on the conventions? host: we will be broadcasting some conventions. i think we lost bob. we will be broadcasting forms that "politico" is doing as well
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as national journal, we will be doing gavel-to-gavel coverage and we will have a variety of events we are bringing you while the convention is not officially in session, c-span will be on- site sharing what's going on on the scene with you. let's go to arizona. mark is a democrat. caller: good morning. all to look forward at this republican. republican. democratic convention and i will be interested in. for the last four years hearing the republicans lie about everything obama has done when he is using half of their ideas on health program. the last republican who said obama is a big spender, but ryan voted for all the big spending. we are going to hear lie after lie from republicans at that
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convention. i cannot stand it,. host: what do you want to hear from the democratic convention in charlotte and what kind of tone would you like to be set? caller: i think he is already setting the tone. according to romney, his attacking, but that's all i have heard romney do. i have heard no ideas from romney. host: i'm asking what you want to see out of the democratic convention? what are you excited about? caller: just hearing the platform again. i have been watching your shows on forming their platforms. i am just looking forward to the convention. host: berkeley springs, west virginia, call of the republican. caller: good morning. i will be glued to my television during both conventions, because i am a political junkie. i thought i heard you say you will be coordinating with "politico" at the convention.
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host: we will be broadcasting events that they are having. coo r: political coordinates with the white house, so this ought to be interesting. conventions are all right. i think the democrats should let reverend jeremiah wright give the speech because he knows how to kick butts when it comes to patriotic americans and maybe even let jill biden get up there and say we ought to put all of you all back in chains. host: a tweet -- but look at some other news. here's a story from the sightless dispatched --
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he made the comment during an interview on the st. louis fox affiliate. in one part of the interview he was asked about his stance against abortion rights even in cases of rape. the story goes on to explain what he actually said. it's getting a lot of pushback. another story about this is also in another missouri paper. his remarks on rape angers. he says that he misspoke. another story from the kansas city star --
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we are talking about what you think about the conventions and whether or not you think political conventions matter. we are looking at other articles in news. i mentioned earlier a story about mitt romney in the church. this looks at his experience in
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the mormon church. and this one in the new york times. political conventions, do they matter? helen is a democrat in st. petersburg, florida. caller: good morning. i have watched conventions for years. they usually don't have a big impact unless something very unexpected happens. pegg noona, a republican speech writer, she said yesterday with this country needs is a leader who will rise above all this divisiveness and ugliness. could be paving the way for jeff for jeb bush to come in as a third-party candidate. this could be the republican strategy, to split the ticket of president obama. host: --
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and this story in the wall street journal says -- it talks about how digital media will play a big role. thanks for all of your calls. we will talk more about campaign 2012 in a moment. first let's remind you of our gavel-to-gavel coverage comes starting with tampa next week on monday, 2:00 p.m. until 11:00 p.m. for the rnc. c-span will bring you that live. find out more at our website. up next, william kristol of the weekly standard talks about the latest developments in the presidential race and the political climate in the nation. and andrea louise campbell will
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talk about your soon-to-be published piece in foreign affairs magazine which argues that america is undertaxed. we will be right back. >> ♪ >> now i know that there are those who have criticized me for seeing complexities. and i do. because some issues just are not all that simple. saying there are weapons of mass destruction in iraq does not make it so. saying we can fight a war on the cheap does not make it so. proclaiming mission accomplished certainly does not make it so. [applause] >> three days after september 11, i stood where americans
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died, in the ruins of the twin towers. workers in hard hats were shouting to me, whatever it takes. a fellow grabbed me by the arm and said do not let me down. since that day i wake up every morning thinking about how to better protect our country. i will never relent in defending america, whatever it takes. [applause] >> c-span has aired every minute of every major party conventions of 1984. our countdown to the dimensio conventions continues with a week to go before the conventions. live on c-span, c-span radio, and streaming online at c-, starting next monday with the gop convention and new jersey governor chris christie with being deplthe republican a. and john mccain and and jeb bush. democratic speakers include
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julian castro, michelle obama, and bill clinton in september. >> "washington journal" continues. host: william kristol is joining us. guest: good to be here. host: your peace today, why r -- why ryan matters. guest: it affects the outcome more about what they've said about the president or the presidential nominee. there was reagan and there was a bush in the 1980's. reagan was not just a yes man on the ticket. when clinton chose al gore in 1992, it reinforced the message that it was a new kind of moderate democrat.
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in this pick, romney showed strength, showed he wanted to present voters a clear choice. he chose someone young. the romney ticket is younger. than the younger. with a ryan ticket, it looks now more like a cause than a campaign. before, it was a tough campaign. people try to help him get over the hump -- people were trying to get him over the hump. people may not agree with everything romney is for, but you have a sense it is a forward-looking agenda, not just we are sick of president obama. i've always felt the problem with the romney campaign was that it was all the negative and there were counting too much on disillusionment with president obama. it was not enough of a positive message and now ryan gives them that.
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host: you were dan quayle's chief of staff. we have a picture of george h. w. bush selected him convention in the 1980's and the cabinet reporters pounced. what have you learn from that experience? guest: i watched that from the senate campaign. most people did not know who dan quayle was. he had done a very good job in the senate, but had only been there eight years. suddenly he gets introduced to the public as the vice president the tuesday of the convention. the last-minute choice amidst some chaos in orleans. the bush campaign was not prepared to explain his achievements and parts of his record and biography that could be challenged. i don't know that dan quayle had had a lot of time to prepare for this. they had a fairly tough campaign. dan quayle probably did not
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handle everything as well as he should have. a lot of it was the campaign not being ready? . with romney there is a very differentr veryy process. dan quayle was maybe 41 when he was chosen and now paul ryan is 42. this choice was made more than two weeks before the convention. romney and his team had been able to prepare. there's no question about things. they had the biography ready to go and they did it with a good rollout. i liked and respected dan quayle and i like and respect paul ryan. but what strikes me about the picks and the management about the picks is how much better mitt romney personally and team romney did than the bush team in 1988. host: here are the numbers to
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call if you would like to talk with bill kristol. as you mentioned, paul ryan's potential youth appeal. this in the washington post -- the other issue that has come up as medicare and his stance on medicare. let's take a look at an obama tv spot, one of the aspects taking him to task and criticizing. [video clip] >> i am barack obama and i approve this message. >> now mitt romney is attacking the president on medicare. aarp says obamacare crackdown on medicare fraud, waste, and abuse, and strengthens guaranteed benefits. the ryan plan, a r p says it would undermine medicare and could lead to higher costs for seniors. experts say paul ryan's voucher
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plan could lead to future retirees paying over $6,000. guest: that is an amazing ad of the president defending himself against the ryan plan. how many times has that happened? the vice presidential nominee, his plan becoming the center of gravity of the campaign. i don't know if that is an attack and on the ryan plan. you can just say the rise in yan plan and democrats will attack. having the debate is good for romney. it shows the strength of the ryan ticket.
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the vice-presidential nominee, his agenda being the center of the obama campaign. many people in the media have a simple-minded view of seniors, that they are narrow minded and care about keeping every benefit they can, the maximum level, but they don't care about their kids off or grandchildren. that's not the way people 65 and older are. they want to make sure benefits are there. but ryan drops it. if you say the word medicare, seniors will throw up their arms in panic, not true. youth aspect, duke aspe there are not as many
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individuals in the. the electric president obama won 18-30 by 2-1. obama won by seven points. six of those seven came from people aged 18 to 30. if romney-ryan can minimize president obama's edge among young voters, it can make a big difference. those are the most changeable voters. you voted fewer times for one party or another, are less said in your political views, young people being more changeable. a lot of swing voters 58 or 68 are up in the air. -- are not up in the air.
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the voters 25 or younger really could move. they may not agree with paul ryan in everything, but he's not your grandfather's republican party. the republican party has nominated a lot of older candidates in the last 20 years. there was ronald reagan, bush, john mccain, bob dole. people in their 60s and early '70s. and i liked many of them. mitt romney is a vigorous kind. it changes the image of the party. when they highlight marco rubio and chris christie and others at the republican convention, and the convention does not matter much, but if you turn on the tv and see chris christie one night and marco rubio one night and paul ryan one night and susana martinez and kelly ayotte and others, that's a different
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looking republican party from bush, dole, mccain and it will resonate with younger voters. host: jacqueline is a republican in manhattan. -- jack. one last time. moving on to ricky in baltimore. caller: good morning. the first thing i want to say is i'm a 57-year-old african american. i probably have seen more racism, bigotry, and discrimination in the first 30 years of my life then you'll probably go through in your whole life. the thing that really stands out about the republican party that people just hate is the fact that they are a party of no diversity. 88% to 90% of the republican party is quite. you are not going to get this banner vote. 70% or 75% of hispanic voters
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will vote democratic. at least 90% of african american vote will be democratic. 75% of the jewish vote will go there. the asian vote is the same. diversity is what kills this party. do you think that people don't understand what they mean? every time we see a republican, where ever romney goes, you never see any people of color. you might see a handful. maybe just a handful of people that our minorities. you don't see them. guest: i wish more african- americans voted republican. it's a free country and most african-americans feel the democrats present their interests better. i am jewish.
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i know how long historical allegiances can last. i don't think the republican party will look like the republican party from previous years. 44% of hispanics voted for george w. bush in 2004. and there are swing voters. with marco rubio, the senator from florida, and susana martinez of mexico, brines and of all of nevada, plenty of young hispanic leaders in the republican party. i think there are some good young african americans in the republican party. tim scott, the republican from south carolina is a very interesting guy. i think they will win in florida. i wish more of my fellow jews would vote republican. but at some point you have to present your ideas and arguments can make the case they are good for the different communities people belong to and what's good
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for one community is mostly good for others. i think eventually some of these old barriers will break down. groups stick with their historical voting patterns what then someone think. host: portland, maine. caller: good morning. the general growth and empire -- how do you think it will affect the grind-from me take it -- romney-ryan ticket? and when they realize we are at war with al qaeda in syria.
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how the capture agenda and whether romney and ryan will be affected -- guest: people want a strong america. the best way to shape events in syria it is not to sit back and let al qaeda establish some connections against those fighting against assad. we get help to shape the government we get in syria and it will be a messy process. sad. deserve better than a s in terms of defense spending, we're not an empire. the obama administration has entirely pulled out of iraq.
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in germany, to help stabilize the situation and that worked out well for them. defense spending is low, much lower than it was and we're in apologies ofno defe being for a strong defense. it is a dangerous world. maybe people think we can hide from it. host: you have called for mitt romney to release his taxes. [video clip] >> 23 million people are out of work. iran about to become nuclear.
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one at a six americans is in poverty --one out of six americans is in poverty. i did go back and look to my taxes and never paid less than 3013%. i paid taxes every year. i'm waiting for harry reid to put up who he said told him. .'ve paid 13% the number is above 20% when you add the amount that went to charity. host: what do you make about his not releasing his tax returns? guest: he will release his 2011 tax returns. 2010.see 2011 and
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i personally do not care. when i just released five of the years and get it over with? he doesn't want to and it doesn't bother me much. we may be passed the ability of the obama campaign to gin up that issue. he is done everything legally and paid a relatively low tax rate because of the tax code. i would encourage him to be stronger in his tax reform message. i think he's for it much simpler tax code which would have been pay more taxes and he should make that clear and make a little more of it in terms of
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tax reform. host: "usa today" has a piece about how the candidates compared to the average american's tax situation. it has what americans buy large pay. a typical family has a rate of 16.7 %. guest: a huge amount has been in capital gains and carried interest, which i did not defend and think should be changed in the tax code. there is a question of whether there should be a capital gains tax.
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i was a supporter of the reagan tax rate which tried to simplify it to one set of rates. maybe a lot of this was the silliness of summer. i do not think people think mitt romney is some kind of a tax cheat. president obama has been president for four years and had total control of congress for a first two and where is his tax reform proposal? is that his idea before tax reform? romneythe case for mitt and paul ryan can be the more forward-looking ticket. they have the chance to be the
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ticket for folks in change. president obama is defending the status quo and defending his record. he is saying mitt romney and paul ryan want to change medicare. romney and ryan can be the for- looking ticket.rd- caller: he is trying to do a good job this morning. political is nothing but a democratic -- that is all the callers were trying to make and you were siding with them. host: we were just listening to your comments charles. caller: this leak in the white house is big and we need to get
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to the bottom of this. on the platform for the democratic party, will this be the first homosexual that they will have a platform and say at a party in north carolina, the homosexual platform? my last comment is, i am sick and tired of people calling in to c-span and knocking the military. there has been a lot of wrong decisions, maybe some wrong decisions but america is so good. america is great. god bless america and our military. i'm sick of these people knocking our military. damn it. god bless you, bill. guest: a huge majority of
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americans have a huge appreciation for our military. the military does say a spectacular job. we have the drawdown now by the defense cuts that president obama has ordered and that now loom ahead with the sequester. i am friends with politico and i would defend them. no one really is perfectly unbiased and they have their own blinders from conventional wisdom. i encourage people to look at different new sites and read different newspapers. there is some good reporting @ politico. host: this is from the web page
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at politico, the headline. guest: this seems to be some good reporting, not happy with vice-president biden. that would not be hard to discover. a big fight with david axelrod that is inside baseball. there is room for that kind of fighting. they have good reporters trying to get the inside dope. host: let's look at a piece you recently did an "the weekly standard." this is from last week.
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host: do you think that impact on the outcome of the election? guest: the press secretary said he decided to and i think he deserved a little praise. miley tongue in cheek --sly ly tongue inightly cheeck. it would be embarrassing. i don't believe that. i think that would be a rough one or two days. than a week later, there be an obama-clinton ticket instead of van obama-biden tickets. i do not know anyone that does
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not believe an alibi-clinton ticket would be -- an obama- clinton ticket would be stronger. warner to bring us an important te.y i think the conventional wisdom is wrong. i would say, you can do better than biden. he has been loyal and deserves a gold watch. you didn't need to have him as vice president. maybe he likes biden and maybe he doesn't want hillary clinton at the vice president's residents. may be a 1% chance of a last- minute switch. i think it conveys -- it makes
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him more on the defensive and more politics as usual. if obama wanted to recapture some of the fresh and new, it would be to get a new vice president. hillary clinton is not young but to be an exciting vice- presidential bid. ken salazar, warner would add something to the ticket. i suspect if the democrats in president obama's circle have thought a little bit of dumping biden. it sounds like it is not going to happen. think the ryan-biden matchup is good for republicans. host: this is an ad that takes an attack and joe biden.
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[video clip] >> america needs a vice president americans can count on. >> three-letter word, "jobs." they will put you back in chains. you can i go to a 7-eleven -- you cannot go to a 7-eleven or dunkin' donuts unless you have an indian accent. rape continue to rise. >> we say joe should stay. >> they are going to put you back in chains. host: that is an ad by american
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crossroads. guest: that is sort of amusing. president obama and joe biden has a record and that is what voters are going to judge. sometimes people stress the gaffes. much.f that matters to muco the web is a great thing. you can make these ads and put them up. sometimes they can influence the debate. the conventional wisdom in washington is it doesn't matter. bush won by nine points in 1988.
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vice presidents do not make much difference at the end of the day. it leaves president obama on the defensive. yan card was a big card. i would bet that most voters have never seen mitt romney for more than 20 seconds and now they will see them both to give speeches. what to the democrats have left? i think republicans have a chance to help define the race. host: rubber from maryland, good morning -- robert. caller: it is so nice your concern about obama campaigning and that mr. biden might be a
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detriment to the campaign. it is nice of you to be concerned. i enjoyed watching you on television and i think you are a low divorce from reality. that romney needed somebody to protect him. he is a weak candidate. he has no ideas and he brings nothing to the discourse. ryan should be running for president and romney should be running for vice president. he was introduced to the public as the new president and he was telling the truth. we have a trickle-down economics the way the republicans were running the government when george bush was in power.
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you want to go back. guest: george bush left and the deficit went up in his last term because of the bailout and the crisis in 2008. president obama has run trillion-dollar deficits every year. i have been critical of some of 's paused pol mitt romney and paul ryan should run it as having their own agenda. they should not tie themselves too close. it is reasonable for a voters to say that bush made mistakes. other parties were partly responsible for it.
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it was a pretty big thing to happen on bush's watch. that is a problem for republicans which i think they have dealt with it pretty well. i wanted paul ryan to run for president. i'm happy he is the vice presidential nominee. host: we have a question on cindy.r from san >> president obama is in a good position where he has to win one of florida, virginia, and ohio. the next group is florida, virginia, and ohio. ohio looks tougher. that what looks like it will go down to the wire.
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in looks like wisconsin is in play. there other ways to get their on the electoral college. move the states around and call them differently on the map -- and color them differently on the map. i think wisconsin is now dead even. minnesota is surprisingly close. social issues are hitting a little bit there. democrats voting for clinton and probably voted for bush and split their votes and then they voted for obama in 2008. they are not thrilled with what the democratic party is proposing.
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therefore same-sex marriage and for abortion. there's more chance for republicans in iowa and minnesota and wisconsin than people realize. host: we're speaking with william standard from "the weekly standard." he once served as chief of staff for vice president dan quayle. he has taught politics at the university of pennsylvania and harvard school of government. frank from atlantic city. caller: good morning. the ad on ryan -- maybe obama is looking at ryan as another dick cheney and we could have a bush- cheney ticket.
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i think that the war in iraq and afghanistan cost just around $4 trillion. the interest on the debt is probably around $350 billion a year. that is approximately 10% of their budget. what to make up for the deficit but do not want to raise taxes. you want to cut the entitlements. 10% is our interests. we have to cut 10% of the budget just to pay the interest. to make a dent in the deficit, we have to do 20%. that will be a lot of pressure on the budget to bring it down. you people run around and say,
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no more taxes. the capital gains situation with romney is atrocious. guest: we need more tax revenues. clinton did a tax bill. the way to get more revenue is not to raise tax rates and to reform the tax code. we had a surplus at the end of the 1990's. yes, we do need more tax revenues. they are low because we have no economic growth. we have totally john down in iraq -- we of totally drawn own inly drawn dwon i
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iraq. we cannot afford the entitlements. we cannot afford the stimulus, which did not work well. we do need economic growth. republicans need to explain how their policies would increase economic growth. it is important for young people to have opportunities. it is important for more tax revenues to make the deficit more manageable. they have forgotten to explain why they think their policies would increase economic growth. i think they have a good story to tell on this. let's hear a clip
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about the romney plan for the middle class. [video clip] >> it is a $5 trillion tax-cut wealthy.oward the mouth for middle class taxpayers, that is about $2,000 more per taxpayer. you need to be honest with the middle class about what is ahead of them with the tax plan. i agree the central question in this campaign is how we're going to strengthen the middle class. we have plans on the table to do that. mitt romney advisers were saying it would be political suicide to talk about those details.
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we like to talk about how to strengthen the middle class. host: what is your response? guest: i would like a debate, too. three presidential debates and one vice-presidential debate. they could have longer debates or more debates. they could debate three hours on economic issues. ryan did extremely well. i would be comfortable with paul ryan is debating barack obama or joe biden.
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the romney-ryan ticket wants to keep tax rates where they are. i don't know how you describe that as a tax cut. the romney people why he to pay the same rates and the administration wants to raise your rates if you're making more .han $250,000 caller: chicano said his position that he wanted to make obama a one-term president. after kennedy died, the majority of the senate was gone and the senate went filibuster crazy. it was 276 filibusters, an all- time record. they killed in the country and put millions of people out of work and they are keeping it
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that way just so they can beat obama. can you explain to hundred 76 276busters -- filibusters? guest: i support them stopping bad ideas. cap and trade -- would that have helped the economy? probably more labor actions. would that have helped the country? i don't think so. president obama had a huge democratic majorities. obamacare is a huge problem for the economy.
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i believe if romney wins, repeals obamacare, able to begin steps to stop some of these owners regulations from the federal government's anti get some prospects from relief of regulatory and excessive government spending. i think we could have an economic boom in 2013 because lots of investors will decide that the prospects for economic growth are pretty decent. the obama policies are making economic growth harder, not easily. host: this is a headline in "the new york times." we will be down in tampa next week watching the gop convention.
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the unavailing from the podium and staircases and the symbolism in play, trying to show openness. we have a twitter follower -- theater'm not a big feeder guy. maybe we will have three presidential debates and the vice-presidential debate. two of them will have a moderator asking questions. i think we'll get a fair amount of substance. i think the romney ticket should challenge the obama ticket. i think people would be interested to see ryan debate more often and not just except
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the format and the arrangement of the debate schedule. we were talking before about mitt romney going to church and inviting reporters to go with him. there is a big piece and "the washington post" talking about romney and the mormon church and the boston area. teresting to seeshifting to s how that plays out. his faith and the volunteer work he is done over the years. teaching sunday school. it is pretty remarkable living
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the kind of life, and helping others through his church. he has not talked about that much because i guess they think the mormon church of latter-day saints is controversial. i think that you decided that, it would be used against us and we have to make clear that mitt romney is a man of faith. host: here is a picture of mitt romney with ipad in hand arriving in church on sunday. "the new yorkkevin yod times" and the photo from a.p. caller: i have two comments.
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in regard to a previous caller that called and said there is no black faces in the background at the romney campaign or hispanics or asians, implying that there are not a lot of minorities that are republican. i remember watching a program, i n be ve it was a plan backglen rememberd i ostracizing a reporter. i have a lot of black friends and they are independent minded and they are going this time with mitt romney. that is the end of that
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statement. the other thing i wanted to address is the moderator brought the issue of rumbly paying only 13% and the average person pays 26%, which really sounds bad. 13% of $10ke $30 millio million, what is the final figure? you're paying more taxes which could be the equivalent of maybe 10 or 20 average families. mitt romney stock his neck out -- stuck his nect out to invest in the businesses.
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this is a democratic ploy. if you file a long return, you have to list your doctors, your dentist, the charities that you contribute. there's a lot of personal information. i do not think any presidential candidate should have to report his tax returns of who he contributed to for the last 20 years, what charities he gives to, what doctors he attended. host: we will leave it there and go to bill kristol. guest: the congressman filed disclosure forms. i'm not sure at the caller is in right.t the customer has been to release at least a couple of years of
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tax returns. i think it is part of the price of running. i don't have a strong view. romney should probably do it to take the issue off the table. it is an interesting debate. i would have a tax code where mitt romney would pay more than 13%. i don't believe there would have been an economic detriment to pay more. i would be for a tax reform and did away with the event is of the interest. host: rachel is an independent caller.
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caller: good morning. people call and with mitt romney associating with terrorists. when romney picked paul ryan, i did not think romney had a plan our budget and that is the reason why he picked him. the convention and the debates were coming up. he does not agree with paul ryan's bill. you never talk about the heroin that is coming over here since we have been in afghanistan. there was 6% of heroin, over here and now it is over 70%. host: we have done what some interviews with reporters that cover the opium trade and how it gets over there.
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you can find that on our website, look for a series and "washington journal." our caller mentioned ron paul. ron paul is someone whose name will be coming up a lot as we head into tampa. jack asks -- has a i didn't think he majority of the delegations of five states. i have never been one to obsess about, "we have to be careful because the ron paul people will be there." i'm not a ron paul fan particularly. he got a lot of voters fair and square. so did rick santorum.
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i think there has been too much control and people assume the voters are total idiots. if they see anything diverging from the message, if the platform is not set up right -- i would be more relaxed about this and to left the convention play out. the key parts will not be ron paul or rick santorum. the key parts will be the romney's speech and the ryan speech. one forgets if you're a political junkie that most americans have not voted for mitt romney before.
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an early republican state, they will have not seen much of mitt romney except in 30-second sound bites. a lot of people will watch the romney's speech on thursday night and the ryan speech on wednesday night. bel clinton's speech will interesting at the democratic convention. we have seen president obama give many speeches to the nation. a lot of voters have not seen romney and ryan. those are the biggest moments that can cause a change in voters' perception. host: party planning tips for your next convention. jimmy carter did give the advice to make party unity and high
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priority. guest: everybody remembers ted kennedy been difficult for carter to get on board. carter was even with reagan 10 days out. some voters were not happy with the carter presidency. people like to use conventions as excuses. i did not buy any of that. i come back to the alternative. reagan beat carter. clinton beat bush. clinton had a strong, positive agenda. at an't think you can be incumbent president just by
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saying, the guy is not doing a good job. host: good morning. caller: good morning. i had not gone political until i retired. it was surprising to me. we had fought communism and marxism around the time i was born. it was surprising how much the democratic party has embraced these. how did it happen and why? i don't understand people selling out our country for their own political gain or the freebies that they want handed to them. guest: people have different views for the country.
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i did not think there are a lot of real socialists left. left liberals who would prefer to have a much more active government. government-run health care. it is a policy question. we are a democracy and they are entitled to make their case. america was wise to resist socialism at home. people are entitled to make their case. government-run health care is better than health care from the government. caller: good morning. my question is, who is running for president for the
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republicans? is it paul ryan or romney? paul ryan and john boehner voted down the bill as to where president obama was trying to get jobs for the infrastructure of america. they speak of paying taxes but they'll never say it. income taxes. guest: mitt romney is the presidential candidate. some people think it is criticism of romney -- romney has not been in the national legislature. there is nothing wrong with taking a vp who was been
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identified with a lot of issues . notink ryan's strength is an effective talking point against romney. i think it is a tribute to run it that he picked somebody strong. they have slight differences on there medicare proposals. it is a treat to romney that he took ryan -- it is a tribute to romney that he took ryan. i've been around a lot of politicians and the typical tennessee is they do not want someone who will dominate or say something that could get that news. it is good mitt romney
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understands that ryan adds something to the tickets. host: front-page cover of "the weekly standard" for this week. what do you think is happening? guest: ryan has more of a record than romney. romney has not been in federal office. it energized democrats who decided he was the target of attack and his agenda was the target of attack. a key moment is when the republicans realize they could turn the attack around. the attack on ryan and medicare
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could be an attack on obamacare. for four had a debate or five days which i think romney and ryan are winning. president obama has been in office for four years. he has to defend himself against republican attacks. even saying the words "the ryan plan" -- the idea that you have to attack the ryan plan -- that is a big concession to the republicans and 2 paul ryan. romney is the nominee. i do they it could end up
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having been a turning point in the campaign where romney went from ok candidate and it went to an alternative to president obama and that the romney-ryan ticket could take the lead in this campaign. host: some comments about medicare by paul ryan. [video clip] >> it is a promise that was made and a promise that must be kept. to make sure that we can guarantee that promise for my mom's generation, we must reform it for my generation.
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to save it for this generation, you have to reformate for my generation so does not go bankrupt when we want to retire. the good news is there are bipartisan solutions to do this. the plan would support originated in the clinton commission in the 1990's. it is a plan that says do not change benefits for people 55 and above. we get a choice of a guaranteed coverage options. guaranteed affordability. we get to pick a plan for us when we retire. that means the providers compete for our business. host: covers ben paul ryan
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speaking in florida on saturday -- congressman paul ryan. guest: that was a pretty striking performance by ryan. om with mama with hi look at the -- he turned around and criticized obamacare. i'm told there were people in boston that were nervous about this at romney headquarters, sending ryan to florida as a high-stakes gamble. they were nervous when watching on tv. they became reassured and by the end of the speech, they were
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excited. i think ryan did an excellent job. they withstood the initial assault and began to go on the offensive. there was some talk of sending ryan to florida. they decided to send ryan to florida on saturday to show they were willing to go into the lion's den. host: bill kristol, thank you said much for joining us this morning, talking about campaign 2012. talking about convention coverage which begins next week. coming up next, andrea louise campbell will discuss her soon- to-be published piece which orders that america is under taxed.
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later, sophia nelson. but first, a news update from c- span radio. >> the obama campaign releases seven radio ads today with different issues targeting different states. in iowa, the focus is on how clean energy would work under the budget. in new hampshire, the budget and cuts to progress will be the issue. tvt romney's launches a new ad today as governor romney campaigns in new hampshire. it accuses president obama of "gutting campaign reform." the town meeting begins at 10:35
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eastern and you can watch a live on c-span television or listen to it on c-span radio. those are some of the latest headlines on c-span radio. [video clip] >> now i know that there are those who have criticized me for seeing complexities. and i do. because some issues just are not all that simple. saying there are weapons of mass destruction in iraq does not make it so. saying we can fight a war on the cheap does not make it so. and proclaiming mission accomplished certainly does not make it so. [applause] >> three days after september 11, i stood where americans died, in the ruins of the twin towers. workers in hard hats were shouting to me, "whatever it takes." a fellow grabbed me by the arm and said, "do not let me down." since that day i wake up every morning thinking about how to
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better protect our country. i will never relent in defending america, whatever it takes. [applause] >> c-span has aired every minute of every major party convention since 1984. and our countdown to the conventions continues with a week to go until our live gavel-to-gavel coverage of the republican and democratic national conventions, live on c-span, c-span radio, and streamed online at, all starting next monday with the gop convention, with new jersey governor chris christie and the keynote address. also, 2008 presidential nominee senator john mccain and former governor of florida jeb bush. democratic convention speakers include san anotonio mayor julian castro delivering the keynote address. plus first lady michelle obama and former president bill clinton. host: andrea louise campbell is
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a political science professor from massachusetts institute of technology. you have a piece coming out in "foreign affairs" magazine in just a little bit. is america undertaxed? guest: the united states has lowered taxes. total taxes in united states if we add federal and state and municipal taxes comes to about 25% of gdp. compare that to the rich industrialized democracies, they earn about 34% of their economies in taxes. u.s. taxes are low in comparison. host: you can see it denmark at
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the top with 40%. new zealand, spain, switzerland ancoming in above the united states. what do those numbers tell you? guest: we spend less in a variety of areas. we learned last tax revenues of various types in the united states. the difference is not so much in the income tax. it is about the same as the other countries in average. we earn somewhat less in corporate taxes. the largest difference is in value-added taxes. that is a tax that most
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countries have but the united states does not. we have less spending in a variety of areas. there is national health insurance, paid parental leave, sick leave, more expensive system of insurance. we also have less infrastructure spending. but it the same set of countries and we have the lowest percentage of gdp going towards infrastructure in the u.s. our spending is less. host: andrea louise campbell, a professor at mit. here are the numbers to call. republicans, 202-737-0001. democrats, 202-737-0001.
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independent callers, 202-628- 0205. how does the tax system perpetuate that? guest: the percentage of all income earned by the top 1% is much greater than the united states and has grown. the top 1% earned about 9% in the 97's and now it is more like 23%. it is much greater than our peer nation's. the top 1% in germany earns 11% of all income. in the netherlands, it is 5%. market in comes everywhere are on equal but other countries do
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more to redistribute that income, especially on their spending sides. our tax system is new line proportional to our income ranges. the proportion of total taxes as a percentage of income paid by each income group reflexed the amount in, each group earns. the spending system does not reduce to do it very much in part because much of our social spending is done through the tax code itself. it is not redistributive. other countries redistribute largely through their patterns of social spending. they do so through universal programs like universal health
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insurance, universal family allowances and so on. host: let's go to the phones and see what the public has to say. it burst in chicago, good morning. caller: how do your numbers get scared from the fact that the top 10% pay disproportionate share of the taxes and the rest baker age bigger amount. and what is a fair share amount? guest: about 40% of households do not pay federal income tax. either because their incomes are not high enough to come into a taxable range, or they are
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working poor households will get a refund on their income taxes through unearned income tax credit. those households in dugay taxes. they pay state sales taxes, state income taxes in many cases. those households do not pay federal income taxes, but they do pay a number of other taxes. if you look at the percentage of all taxes paid, on is the case that very high income people pay a higher share of total taxes than they earned our income, because the system is somewhat progressive. if you look at the counter balancing effect of most of our tax system which is mostly comprised of five board regressive taxes, then the system overall is progressive. what is a fair tax? that is in the eye of the beholder. there are polls that show that
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the strong buy you that people have is that everyone should pay something in taxes. but it is the case that everyone does pay taxes, if you pick -- if you look at the old tax system. other fair taxes would be the high-income people would be paying more taxes than they do today. people in the middle class that are squeezed with conditions now, actually pay less in taxes than they did in 1980 as a share of income. everyone's income taxes have come down, but it is not the case that everyone's taxes have come down because we pay payroll taxes and so on. there are high income people but could pay more, but there are also low income people that could pay more as well. napa, calif., to damen on the independent line.
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caller: i'm wondering if she's read edward canard's unintended consequences security and two, -- unintended consequences. if weo, i'm wondering should be looking at is not what taxes we're paying relative to other countries, but what will make the biggest change in economic affect in this country. guest: very good questions. i have not read that book. in terms of taxes, the american social spending the we have, one concern that we might have about cutting entitlement spending is that one bit of poverty that we are truly garver -- concord in the united states is senior pause -- one bit of
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poverty that we have truly concord in the united states is senior poverty we ought to keep it that way. the main increase in spending that i would like to see as human capital investment likes job-training and education, and physical investments like infrastructure. host: one of the fellows on twitter right in and asks, does your study take into account the enormous amount of fees would pay in lieu of taxes? guest: let's look at what the elected officials have done over time. because the u.s. is in public opinion a low tax country, it is still the case that government has to be funded by some means. and away better elected officials have chosen to do so over time because they feel
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limited in the amount of taxation they can impose is they have introduced a number of user fees and that kind of thing. user fees are very popular with the public compared to taxes. they fall on those who are actually using the good or service. for example, attending the state park for the admission. user fees tend to degrade and the public sphere that only those who can afford admission can use the park. historically, we've had a much more public good orientation. for example, all was coming together to fund public schools on a universal basis. user fees are low tax era to raise fiscal revenues, but they also undercut a sense of
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collectivity and commonality. host: next call from georgia on the democrat's line. caller: for the people that do not understand, we are speaking with a professor from the massachusetts institute of technology. that is a person who has devoted their role live to vacation and looking for facts. it is not a propaganda machine i spent 11 years in the marine corps. i can tell the city has a lot of self disciplines. when i do my taxes at the end of the year and i get back a $3,700 check or 27 under a dollar or whatever, i would be willing to give that back to my country in order for firemen and teachers and policemen not to be laid off. i do not know what you consider more patriotic -- i mean, we talked a lot about patriotism and the flight and all of that nonsense, but devotion to reach other -- one way to show that
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devotion would be this. and i wonder if you can comment on the illegal immigrants in the u.s. and what they give back to social services. the american public would be astounded if they did not listen so much to rush limbaugh. guest: thank you for your call. it is the case set illegal immigrants pay some taxes and do not receive the benefits. some immigrants pay social security taxes, and of course, being illegal, they can never did benefits. some may pay a local property taxes. they may benefit from daud -- that in that they have services from local firemen or police protection. their children may be in school. there are benefits from having
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immigrants here. the political the goatee is that the cost of illegal immigration is concert -- the political difficulty is that the cost of immigration is concentrated in certain states. but it is the case that many illegal immigrants do pay taxes and are never able to benefit from those taxes because of their illegal status. host: do you see a correlation between now and right before the great depression in regard to income disparity? guest: it is the case that the last time there were income disparities of the same magnitude was shortly before the great depression. if you look at the incomes earned by the top 1%, the most recent year in which a that share equal to what it is today, it was 1928. that is just a few years before the great depression started. we have seen that kind of
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disparity in the past and we are back to that now. host: nick in fairview, tennessee. republican line. caller: i am sort of a tea party republican. when my father immigrated here in 1922, all he had was a suitcase, some writers, a crucifix, and a picture of my mother. in america, you can go as far as your eyes will take you, but there is no free lunch. who says that now? i worked 90 hours a week at times with different jobs. i even sold my blood when i got laid off when they have a policy back then to get $25 for my family. right now, i have a part-time with a major bridge reaching. and how these people do not pay income tax. and these people come in and
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talk about obesity. they use these weight checks and they come in and -- of the wic checks and the common with designer sunglasses and 10 issues and they use those checks to come in and buy beer on that entitlement. i am paying for that. i'm getting too emotional. i'm trying to talk to fast. but this is ridiculous. you are in an ivory tower. i'm in the street selling groceries. i know how ridiculous this is. if my father was alive, he would not probably bog or coming to this country. you are pushing progresses and were the government's can be the benefactor for a long time frame without becoming a
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bamboozling bureaucracy. guest: thank you for your call and your personal story. is the case that the u.s. is an extraordinary country. you talked about your immigrant father. my grandparents were from sweden. my mother brought literally in a two-room log cabin that my grandfather built with logs cut off of his land. and now i'm a professor at mit in just three generations. it shows what this country can do for people who want to work hard. tax revenues come not only a small portion go to means test a program -- tax revenues, only a small portion of toomey tested programs like you are talking about. most people are not on welfare. only about 29% u.s. small children get welfare payments. -- who have small children get
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welfare payments. what i'm talking about the federal government considering enhance revenues, i'm talking chiefly about the kind that can help economic growth in the future. that can help subsequent generations make money the way we did within our own families. if we had more investment in education, and the kinds of things that will help economic productivity and general, that would help everyone. only a small portion of government goes toward the means tested programs that you are not too fond of. host: our guest is a professor at the massachusetts institute of technology. her research has appeared in various political studies and how affairs. and she has a piece coming out soon called "america: the under tax." there is a ps kayaleh that
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says, -- a piece coming out, but says -- guest: the irony of our tax system is that we have been so dependent on federal income tax for revenues. that tax is so problematic politically, because as the writer notes, it does tax most heavily the most vocal portion of the electorate, and also the portion of the electorate that believes in the hard work that goes into getting the economic sense that they have today. the reliance on the income tax system has to the poison of
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taxation in the united states. what other countries have done is use a progressive income tax in conjunction with a regressive of value added tax. it is interesting that our european charter parts -- they achieved distribution not because they rely on the tax system, but they achieve more distribution through the spending side of the tech -- of the equation, not the spending side. because they counterbalance this income tax system with this -- with that system, they have higher revenues. that tax is something that many people feel more comfortable paying rather than having to calculate an income tax at the end of the year. that is taken a little bit at a time. it is easier to pay. it also engenders less political resentment. the tax system in this country
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has a broader bond all of taxes. the tax policy is lower than it is in the u.s. host: next call from arkansas, welcome. caller: i appreciate your show this morning, a special of the details, on the facts. the thing that you touched on that impresses me a lot is how you lay out the exact expenses and returned on every segment of how we get taxed. some people barely ever mentioned how the taxes that are paid by the portlock at -- by the port at the service station on their gas, that is the part in the middle. hawes would become independent entrepreneurs and half $250,000 companies, we get taxed on so many different levels.
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it seems like 70%. how do you explain that reverses the 13% that a high end person makes -- explain ... versus the 13% that a high end person makes? guest: it is the case that what gets taxed, that gets shifted over time in the u.s. for example, the america of revenue that comes from corporate taxes has fallen dramatically over time. 30% of all revenues came from taxes in the 1950's and out is about 7%. the portion of all workers' pay has gone all -- up over time. the federal income tax has stayed steady as a percentage of all income, but there have been shipped within data as well. those people who gain unearned
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income, investments from capital gains and dividends, they pay relatively low tax rates. their tax rate on those items is less than the income tax rate. the people who really get socked are middle-income earners, those with -- usually between 50% and 90% in the middle class because they're paying relatively high statutory rates on income tax. if they are self-employed, they are paying both towns of the payroll tax. -- both tabs of the payroll tax. host: in usa today, a look at taxes and the election. richard wolf has a break down.
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john tweet in and asks, how did the founding fathers feel about income disparity? can you give us a sense of the history of the tax code? in guest: the early days of our republic, most of our taxes came from goods, excise taxes on our call. the federal income tax did not come along until 1913, due to an amendment that made it possible. at the beginning, however, it is only a small proportion of high proportion -- high-income households that pay. the great revenue needs of the
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war mobilization led the federal government to return to mass taxation and a federal income tax became something that most households paid by the end of world war ii. the payroll tax for the social security began in 1937 and was added to in 1965 with the addition of medicare. most states instituted sales taxes and income taxes in the great depression. the oldest? in the united states is the property taxpayer that funded state and local governments for many years, as it continued -- in the united states is the property tax. that funded state and local governments for many years, as it continues to do today. that is a snapshot of our tax history. host: patricia calling in on the
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republican line. caller: why doesn't the professor just say "from each according to his ability to each according to his need" from her book. rich people, they also pay protect his, sales taxes, excise taxes, etc. i bet she makes over $100,000 as a professor. it is not fair if there is a young 23-year-old woman, first year of teaching, that she makes only $30,000. you should give the $30,000 a teacher 65% of what you make. that would be fair and cause less resentment, i think. would you agree with that? guest: something i hope we can talk about in the coming years as we debate our tax system is this principle that you raise, which is one of the oldest
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principles of taxation, which is paying ability -- paying according to the ability to pay. that is the idea behind the progressive income tax. top rates have fallen dramatically over time, and the number of tax brackets that we have had have also fallen over time. in the 19 20's, there were 25 different tax brackets. the top rate was 20%. our tax rate is 35%. few are talking of the taking it back up to 70%. it would just increase the amount of local seeking by top earners. one thing to consider seriously is increasing the tax -- the tax brackets. the right now, our top bracket begins epo $183,000. that means that a.c.l. making
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$10 million makes the same -- pays the same taxes as his or her dentist. higher taxation of high income people would not necessarily harm their archons. my nobel prize-winning colleague at mit has done an analysis that shows the effective rate of taxation currently on the top 1% is about 22%. if we were to double that, of which sounds like a huge increase, which could raise quite a bit of revenue. but the top 1% have done so well in terms of income over time that their take-home incomes, even if we were to double their taxes, would still be higher than they were in 1970.
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something for us to think about as a nation is, do we want to reach those very high incomes that top earners are making today? host: thank you so much for joining us this morning. guest: it was a pleasure. host: herpes will be in foreign affairs magazine quite soon. it is called "america: the under taxed." coming up, looking at our online media with the sophia nelson from online media the grio. first we will take a short break.
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>> i know that there are those who criticize me for seeing complexities, and i do. because some issues are just are not about possible. saying there are weapons of mass destruction in iraq does not make it so. saying we can fight a war on the chief does not make it so. and proclaiming "mission accomplished" certainly does not make it so. >> three days after september 11, i stood and where americans died in the ruins of the twin towers. workers in hard hats were shouting to me, what ever it takes. if fellow grabbed me by the arm and he said, do not let me down. since that day, i wake up every morning thinking about how to better protect our country. i will warrant -- i will never relent in defending america,
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what ever it takes. >> c-span has been at every major party convention since 1984. and at our coverage continues live on c-span, c-span radio, and streaming online at c- starting next monday with the new jersey convention and governor chris christie. also with john mccain and former florida gov. jenna bush. democratic national convention speakers include michelle obama, bill clinton and the mayor of san antonio. host: tomorrow, we will learn more about town hall where we are joined by guy benson. wednesday, amanda turco will tell us more about online media
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at the huffington post. we begin our series today with featurehe grio's columnist, sophia nelson. the first of all, what is the grio? guest: the word comes from latin history that means of the word. we wanted to have something for african american audience, but also tells the story. our mission is to tell the story. that is what we do with african- american news and breaking news and opinion. host: how does it differ for him -- an african-american audience?
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guest: the african-american audience is the american audience is different mebazaa was saying. -- but it is also the same. we have a d.c. bureau chief and would cover politics, social, health, a entertainment. it is not really that different. we just do it with a flair and a focus on the audience that we are targeting, which is the african-american community. >> a little while ago you were treating and you were -- tweeting in this. how much do you use twitter to interact with your audience? guest: i am obsessed with twitter. social media is our lifeline for those of us who cover columns and stories. i was of social media one time
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for six hours and i missed the shooting at the sikh community. if i had been on twitter, i would have gotten that instantly. the same thing when osama bin laden was killed. we all used social media to interact every day, all day. host: you can join the conversation. we are on with the sophia nelson. the numbers are on the screen. you also contribute to usa today and essence magazine. when you are writing for the grio, are you doing opinion pieces? are you writing more for yourself? guest: a few years ago was doing much more political pieces. i have kind of evolved into this columnist and writer. i've done everything from the first lady sitting in the
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backyard at the white house having tea and apples to interviews with someone like devaughn franklin @ sony who has a new movie coming out called "sparkled." i have an interview coming up with an actress this week. i have an interesting piece coming our paul ryan shortly. i have known him since we were in our 20's. host: really? guest: i met him when he worked at empire of america and i was on the hill, a belief. host: our guest is a columnist for the grio and also the author of a book. she is a former u.s. help -- u.s. health industry council
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member. she also attended the college of law at san diego state university. let's look at this recent column you did. why mitt romney should pursue black voters. how do you think the republican ticket should appeal to african- american voters? guest: i wrote the column before he spoke to the naacp convention. it was a bit of a teaser, kind of tongue-in-cheek. certainly, he went to the naacp. he gets credit for showing up. i'm not sure his message
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connected in a way it could have if he had focused on economics and a lack of jobs and things of african-american concern. i think the administration is pretty clear that they will do pretty well with the mac -- the african-american base, but i do not think they will get the same fervor and passion that turned out in 2008, which is critical. if mitt romney can get up to 10%, which is where george herbert walker bush was and -- that would be a good showing for and the republicans. and they should be able to appeal to all voters, not just white or black host: our first caller from massachusetts, good morning. caller: good morning. i have an interesting proposal
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for politics, a truth in politics, i call it. number one, no one quarter to -- one-quarter truths. it is bad enough that they give a half truth, but worse when they give a decimal point truth. for example, what happened in california. what happened? the government invested about one-third of the invested money. the republican investors for the most part invested two thirds of the money lost in that solar project. they only talk about little one- third of the truth that the government lost the money. they do not say that a number of equally stupid investors did the same thing, but lost even more money.
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host: are you saying that the government is covering up how much money is being lost and not talking about it? caller: the point is, the politicians must tell the whole truth about an issue, not just a part they do not like. host: truth in politics, sophia nelson. guest: that is certainly a novel concept, but telling the whole truth for politicians is a very subjective thing. what one politician sees as the whole truth is different from what is opponent sees as the whole truth. while i certainly agree with the caller that it would be good to have transparency in our politics, i think we are still a long way from there. host: let's hear from rachel on our democrats line in south carolina. caller: good morning. how are you? host: we are good, thanks. go ahead. caller: it is refreshing to see
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a nice face on this television here that is really getting ready to do something 12 years ago i had 70 million people on the brink. now it is 32 million people. a white, black, porter rican. now are looking at 200 people -- 200 million people roaming in africa. i'm so glad that someone is stepping up to the job. i don't care about the people on -- up there in the oval office. i care about the people on the bridge. i am truly grateful for you, sweetheart. host: what is it you like about soviet nelson and what she presents? caller: i like what she represents for the african american body. we've got a problem in this place. host: do you feel a responsibility to represent your community, and by community, and
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a variety of groups that you can be identified with. guest: yes, and that is why i write for the grio. i like that is african-american- centered, but it also crosses the prospect from. -- a broad spectrum. i appreciate what the caller is trying to say. i think what she is saying that america has geared of course in terms of division and is better to be united. and our stories show that we have much more in common than not in common, i think. ,ost: let's go to winston-salem north carolina. caller: thank you for taking my call and for the great job that you and c-span do. my question has to do with when president obama ran the first time, there were different cultures or ethnicities presenting agendas. there was a native american
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agenda. there was an hispanic agenda. what does sophia think in terms of their not being an african- american agenda presented. my point is, it is not being presented in the context of the vision as much as the quilt that we like to talk about in america. we are different, but united. the difference comes with real knowledge and appreciation of diversity. i think is wonderful that president obama gets the support that he does, but it should not just be because he is african- american. addressing those issues that a doctor west or tavis smiley or rev. al sharpton has kim to address, i think, is fair game.
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guest: that is a great question and it has been a big source of consternation in the african- american community. i can tell you it is a hot- button issue among us reporters because you do see there is a gay, lesbian, transgendered agenda, clearly. there is an agenda for latinos and immigration issues. there is an agenda for women's rights and reproductive rights, and plant paranoia, etc. but when it comes to the african america -- planned parenthood, etc., but when it comes to the african american agenda, there is resistance. i do not want to say resistance, but a reluctance precaution -- , but a reluctance. the one time that president obama stepped out, he got hammered. the step he took that day when he was talking about being a
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black man in america and driving while light, he got hammered. he is really like a turtle with his head in his shell since then. i do think the administration addresses african-american issues. to your question, i just think they are less vocal about it, because of the fear about the black that is possible. these are my words. but for whatever reason, the black issue in america is still that great demarcation, the dividing line, as condoleezza rice says. it is our great birth defect and that we were born with in this country. until we get it right, we will be met with resistance whenever african-american issues are raised as opposed to other groups issues, fair or not fair. host: we talked a little of ago about a column that you written
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trying to mitt romney visiting the naacp. you talk about a lot of issues. you talk about a lot of african- americans having so started business, religious values. when you talk about an effort in america and the agenda, give us some examples. -- and african american agenda, give us some examples guest: unemployment is an american problem. 40 million americans are in party and on food stamps. those issues affect all americans. however, they disproportionately affect african-americans. when the american unemployment rate is 7%, a portable, blocks, it is usually 15%. the foreclosure crisis hit all americans. the african-american community in atlanta or new work or chicago, or in los angeles or right here in prince george's
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county -- maryland was hit very hard. the wealth for the blacks in this country is something like 5000. even latinos are doing better. we are still making progress, but we have a long way to go when it comes to the middle and working-class in this country, and that disproportionately affect black people. host: let's go to dallas. caller: what do you suggest for the youth of america, particularly those transitioning from college who are not interested in politics? how do we researched the
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candidates before they get to the presidential race? how do we get more involved? and pretty much, just know their policies and what their opponents are saying about them. guest: check them out on their web sites. listen to their speeches when they make appearances. the best advocate for a person's position is themselves. i would say, read a variety of newspapers, liberal, conservative, magazines, etc. you have to educate yourself. particularly in your generation. you sound yawn. download the apps on your iphone or on your pc or your mac. the astute. the assertive. the passionate about your democracy. this generation is going to be greatly impacted by the outcome of this alexian and what happens with social security, medicare, taxes, etc.
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that is something that your generation needs to care a great deal about. host: sophia nelson is a columnist at nbc's the grio. the grio is part of the nbc news umbrella that focuses on stories and events that affect the african-american community. let's go to the next call. caller: i want to dovetail on the caller from north carolina as a black male, i'm not thrilled with our president. however, when you tie it into mitt romney and the black vote, the republican position blocking most of what president obama has been trying to accomplish has now made it an us against them
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type of mentality. even though i may not be totally happy with president obama, because of the republican's approach, i cannot support that. what are your thoughts? guest: that is your perspective. i respect that. i have seen that on twitter and other social media that the african-american committee feels that mitt romney is not presenting a viable alternative. i will not speak for everybody. and people like you that our disgruntled, they may not vote for mitt romney. they may just stay home. and that is bad for the president. it goes back to what we said earlier, black unemployment is high, foreclosures, etc. things that the people in the park about -- i do not know that people will vote for mitt romney unless he starts making an
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aggressive push toward ever had american -- toward african- american voters, which i do not think he will. host: how much access using the grio is getting into the white house? you mentioned being able to sit down with the first lady and talk about issues she is working on, health, gardening, things like that. how much excess do you have? guest: we have great access. i am blessed to have had the opportunity to have covered the first lady on a number of things. i do a lot also for essence with respect to her. when i was correspondent for jet magazine, did a lot of coverage on the president.
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host: and how about when you have to cover other politicians here in washington? guest: oh, sure. i think we are still a little bit unknown to the republican side, but i've been trying to introduce some pieces of republican politics. fdot i think perry had -- i think perry has done a great job. when they need me, they call me. host: next caller, go ahead. caller: i really want to commend you with or you are doing with your program. i am in the city of bridgeport. my may 62-year-old. i just tell became a senior citizen. i have been a community activist for over 40 years. it troubles me that my website
9:46 am, i have three cases in court for me being terminated three different times for speaking out on behalf of people of other cities. it troubles me that we keep electing people that look like you and me, but when it comes time to dealing with the issues that got them into a position of authority, they seem to forget what they come from. and i'm tired of being told that we should not support leadership when they are speaking out about what's happening with the people. when they are talking how about gun violence in our neighborhoods, it is because of people that have risen from power that forgot where they came from. and because of that, white
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flight is on the increase and those that -- and others cannot get out. why have we not been motivated our people to get registered to vote or teaching them the value of the vote and how to make it work for them the same way it works for white folks? host: we will go to sophia now, for her response. a guest: he had a mouthful to say. i will take it back to the conversation about how african- americans feel about by politicians. -- about black politicians and their representation. yes, it is absolutely true -- as journalists, we wrestle with this and we talk amongst ourselves about whether or not we criticize this president when he has done something wrong. and how critical do we become?
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it is not that we do not want joel and accountable. we should hold every president accountable purebred we have to do -- accountable. but we have to do a bit of a kabuki dance. you have to be mindful of the historical context. there is a brouhaha right now about the fact that there are no african-american journalists for the presidential debates. candy crowley will be the first woman in 22 years. she is great and good for her, but gwenn ifill was passed over and she had done the vp debates for years. it only seems logical that they would move her up to the presidential debate. african-americans still feel locked out and left out. it is important when covering the news about black politicians. he raised the second point about black leadership not stepping up
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and being accountable. that is something that we have heard for years. you in your communities have told leaders accountable. you do that by your vote. if you are not pleased, you vote them out. host: but go to a caller in jacksonville, florida. caller: i have a question i would like answered about mitt romney putting people back to work. first, we have a high unemployment rate. how are you going to put people to work except in government- operated jobs, which will cause other people to lose their jobs and cause the unemployment rate to go up? i do not understand why he is advocating that when there are no jobs available. guest: that is a great question.
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look, i think if mitt romney were here -- and i do not want to speak for him, but i would suspect if he is going to put welfare recipients back to work, i think he is talking about tying them into this 21st century economy. which is partly about what i was talking about with the black community with high unemployment and foreclosures, etc. those pieces need to be tied into next generation technologies, green jobs. in the black community there has become a dependence on government, for better or worse. if my parents were sitting here, they would be here as baby boomers. the government give african- americans their first equal opportunity when they were integrated into the military. the government has been the best affirmative action employer around, in my opinion.
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however, we have shifted. as governments get leaner and meaner because the tax base is smaller, it becomes problematic. african-american communities have to look at how we participate in this 21st century economy when jobs are being shipped overseas and we have lost manufacturing and those types of jobs that were staples in places like camden, new jersey, where campbell's was. that is where i grew up. i want to hear from both of the candidates. i want to know what the plan is to put people back to work. host: here is an opinion piece from the grio. we see a picture of a pbs journalist, as moderator, gwenn ifill, with joe biden back when he was running for bp.
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and we see in this piece how there are no people of color moderating debates. how much do you interact with your audience as your pieces are generated? how much are you listening to people to get a sense of what you should write? guest: i think it is critical. we interact on twitter and facebook constantly. we listen and we chat. i will chat's every saturday, sometimes on more inspirational topics. but i want to hear from people, even when they say things that are not very nice, i still read tweet and i want to hear what people ought to stay. host: let's hear from a colleague in illinois. -- a caller in illinois.
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caller: i think the problem is with mainstream media in places like chicago. chicago is giving -- has had problems for years giving blacks a fair share in a city where it is 48% black. that is one issue. mainstream media does not point that out. do using disparate -- do you think is fair?
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if blacks are labeled as african-american, why or why not that -- are white americans not labeled as european americans? >> we have all kinds of labels. hopefully we can drop that at some point and just be americans. you mentioned a number of things that are troubling. in largely black cities like washington and chicago and other places around this country, african-americans are not represented in the numbers that we would like to see them commensurate with the population. that goes back to historical -- what i will call it discrimination. it was just the reality of who america was. we had segregation after slavery. in the 1860's, you know, the plessy decision in 1896, the
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separate but equal doctrine. that is my lawyer side coming out. this country have legal segregation up until the mid- 1960s. as one of my mentors told me, who is an older white male, he said the african american to energy has made progress since iraq -- the african-american community has made progress since i was a boy. you had 300 years of legalized slavery and then another 100 years of jim crow. to expect that everything would turn around in 40 years is not realistic. the fact that we have an african-american president by pinch myself when i -- i pinch myself when i see him come on to the tv. since rfk and martin luther king were shot in 1968, that is huge progress. we have made good progress, but we have more to go. is that simple.
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host: sophia nelson writes for the grio, which is part of the nbc community. she is a featured columnist of their and she writes for other outlets as well, including usa today. bally is up next in massachusetts. caller: i agree with the last three callers that you had. it is an unfair position for the black people. we are only the -- the only hyphenated americans. what is diablo for poor black america? i disagree with you. i do not think we have made any strides -- what is the outlook for poor black america?
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i disagree with you. i do not think we have many strides out of poverty. he has looked out for the gay and lesbian divinities. he has looked up for illegal -- gay and lesbian communities. he has looked out for illegal immigrants. look at many cases were young black men are being killed right and left. anyone with half a brain cell can understand that mitt romney and paul reihan are not really looking out for -- host: did you vote for president obama in the last election? caller: no, i did not. when i did our research about him, he has no idea what people like me are about. he has been basically cultivated by white america. host: are you going to vote in this election? caller: are not going to vote
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for either one. host: no connection to either of the candidates. guest: in terms of african- american progress in this country, it would be responsible for anyone to say we have not made economic, social, educational progress as black people in this country since the civil rights movement. it does matter and it is significant that we have an african-american president. however, i would agree with a friend of mine who would say this is not a post ratio america and that does not exist. it does not, and probably never will, at least not in my lifetime. i would however say, get involved, and get engaged. do not not vote. go to a campaign rally. send questions to the white house let your voice be heard. that is our democracy functions. and do not get frustrated about the lack of where we are.
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try to focus on where we can still go and what you can do to be part of the solution and not a problem. host: looking at the the grio website, everything from politics to culture issues, music, entertainment, international affairs as well. where do you see media outlets like yours going? guest: i think the grio is an exception because we are partnered with nbc. i will write a story and get to go on air and talk about it. when you've got the writing on all of these've got i other african-american aside, they do not have the media outlets that we do. it gives us a really big push. i think the grio


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